Korean pickled vegetables (kim chi)
Korean pickled vegetables (kim chi) | Baechu kim chi is the best known of the kim chi varieties (and there are hundreds of them). Other varieties include haruna made with choy sum, paek or white cabbage kim chi, kkakdugi with radish and yulmu with spinach greens. It’s nutritious and good for the digestion and as Mrs Kim says, "For Korean people, kimchi has to be on the table. Even if there are a lot of side dishes, if you haven’t got kimchi on the table, the meal isn’t complete". This is her…
Roast garlic and onion soup
Roast garlic and onion soup | In this variation on the classic Provençale garlic soup, you char the onions and garlic to give them a toasty, roasted flavour, then purée them to make a soup. As garlic makes up so much of the flavour, try to use the best-quality local garlic you can afford. You can whisk the egg with some grated Gruyère to enrich the dish even more.
Fettuccine napoletana (tomato sauce)
Fettuccine napoletana (tomato sauce) | This classic Italian pasta dish of fettuccine with Napoletana sauce is confirmation that the simple things in life are often the best (and even better if you know a few tricks!). In this recipe, Maurizio Esposito shaves his garlic into very thin discs using a mandolin slicer, prefers shallots to onions for their sweetness, mashes up the best-quality Italian tinned tomatoes with his hands, and tears the basil, adding it last so it stays fresh and green.
Chargrilled eggplant with mint yoghurt dressing and pomegranate
Chargrilled eggplant with mint yoghurt dressing and pomegranate | “At the beginning of my journey to discover the hidden secrets of street food, someone made the (now obvious) point that I should follow my nose. Great advice and never more true than when looking for a great kebab shop. In Amman, however, you could easily get lost using this method because the smells of charcoal-grilled meats come from every doorway and from every window. It’s kebab heaven! Eventually I settled on Shahrazad…
Shanghai-style stir-fried eggplant with garlic and soy sauce
Shanghai-style stir-fried eggplant with garlic and soy sauce | I am a big lover of eggplant. I have been cooking it in so many ways over the years, and still love it. I am never sick of it. This is a very simple and a traditional Shanghai home cooked side dish. Every family in Shanghai has their own way to cook it and uses the exact same ingredients. The woman in Shanghai who is the best cook for this dish is very special – she is my mum. So I believe the best seasoning in the world is…
Slow-roasted lamb (mechoui)
Slow-roasted lamb (mechoui) | This North African dish found in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria tends to vary in each country, but generally involves a whole lamb or sheep being spit-roasted or roasted underground for a festive occasion. Traditionally, the entire beast is consumed, including the organs, with parts such as the liver, kidney and eyes reserved for the guests of honour. While traditionally the entire animal is roasted, for convenience, we’ve used a lamb shoulder, oven-roasted with…
Strozzapreti with wild boar and mushroom sauce
Strozzapreti with wild boar and mushroom sauce | Chef Michele Usci and restaurant owner Tony Nicolini from Melbourne’s D.O.C Italian restaurant give us insider tips on how to prepare strozzapreti with wild boar sausages and mushroom sauce. This is an amazing type of pasta that literally means "the priest stranglers". It's used widely all over Italy and works best with rich tomato-based recipes. You can also make this dish using lamb or pork sausages.
Punjabi chicken curry
Punjabi chicken curry | “For me this chicken curry is soul food, it is the curry we had every week and is light and almost broth like. The chicken is important here as it really rounds the flavours of the dish. Please do use chicken on the bone here, it really makes a difference. If you have a friendly butcher, ask him to joint and skin it for you, if not you can find packets of thighs or drumsticks in the supermarkets. Also, buy slightly under-ripe tomatoes as you want them to add tartness…
Kotopoulo tiganito | Vibrant flavours of the Mediterranean add a Greek accent to this comfort food dish. The Greeks are the masters of succulent, marinated meats, and this chicken is coated in a garlicky, zesty marinade, and flavoured with fragrant herbs such coriander, juniper berries and bay leaves, before being fried. Served with fried oregano sprigs and extra lemon to squeeze over the top, it’s best eaten with a shot or two of ouzo.
Prawns roasted with vermicelli noodles (gung op wun sen)
Prawns roasted with vermicelli noodles (gung op wun sen) | You’ll see this dish all over Bangkok’s Chinatown, where it is made with large prawns and cooked in metal pots that can withstand the constant and heated demands of the lines of hungry customers. I find the dark, crunchy part of the noodles that sticks to the bottom of the pot is the best part.
Bresse chicken with red wine vinegar
Bresse chicken with red wine vinegar | A little jewel of French family cuisine. Again the success of this recipe depends very much on the quality of the ingredients. Try to choose free-range or organic chicken and also a good red wine vinegar, the best I’ve found was red wine cabernet sauvignon vinegar from Waitrose. The cooking time will depend entirely on the sourcing of the chicken, factory produced will take 15–20 minutes, free-range/organic 30–40 minutes. Planning ahead: The dish can…
Vine-cutters’ baked beans
Vine-cutters’ baked beans | The grape-vine cutters who prune during winter deserve a warming pot of beans, and these beans are hearty enough to be served as a main meal. This dish is best, of course, cooked over the dried prunings from last year, but your oven inside works just as well. Soak the beans overnight.
Caramelised pork belly
Caramelised pork belly | Stéphane makes this moist and tender pork by first gently poaching the pork in water with a bouquet garni. He then transfers the pork to the oven and transforms the skin into the best crackling on earth with honey, port, fennel seeds and cumin – it smells and tastes heavenly and the recipe is marvellously foolproof. Serve with any potato dish and roast vegetables or salad.
Potato and butter pie with mushroom gravy and wilted spinach
Potato and butter pie with mushroom gravy and wilted spinach | Preheat a baking tray in the oven to put the pie on and you’ll get a nice crisp base for this easy vegetarian pie. Equipment and preparation: You will need a 23cm/9in metal pie dish with sloping sides for the best results.
Slow-roast leg of lamb with tomato and garlic crust
Slow-roast leg of lamb with tomato and garlic crust | This is the easiest dish to prepare in advance, pop it into the oven and 4 hours later you have a wonderful soft shredded lamb. The juicy tomatoes make a glorious rich sauce to pour over the lamb when serving. Accompaniments such as our best ever roast potatoes and Egyptian carrot salad with pita, almonds and olives work well with lamb. They are both from our underground food feature.
Jerk pork | Jerk is a dish cooked and sold by the roadside in Jamaica, often made with chicken thigh fillets. It tastes best if cooked on a barbie, though you can roast it in the oven, too.